Netflix Rivals Unscathed Despite Video Giant’s Slump

Netflix Inc.’s decline following a big miss in subscriber growth isn’t spilling over into shares of rival streaming services, a sign that investors are still optimistic on the sector as more competitors prepare to enter the steaming wars.

Netflix posted weaker-than-expected second-quarter subscriber figures late Wednesday, sending shares 10% lower Thursday—their largest one-day percentage loss since July 2016.

Even so, losses were minimal in shares of other companies that are planning to enter the streaming-television arena later this year or in 2020, including

Apple
Inc.,

Walt Disney
Co.

,

AT&T
Inc.

’s HBO Max and

Comcast
Corp.

’s NBCUniversal.

Shares of Disney and AT&T fell 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively, while Comcast edged up 0.3%. Meanwhile, Apple’s stock rose 1.1%. Despite the sharp declines, Netflix shares are still up 22% in 2019, slightly outpacing the broader S&P 500’s 19% rise.

Christina Applegate in a scene from Netflix’s ‘Dead to Me.’


Photo:

Saeed Adyani/Associated Press

The reason the losses were mostly contained among stocks in the group, some analysts said, was because Netflix’s slowing subscriber growth last quarter was likely a one-off, which potentially sets up a buying opportunity for investors following the stock’s losses Thursday.

“There’s been rivals and competitors against Netflix for years,” said David Miller, managing director at Imperial Capital. “It’s great for consumers right now to have consumer choice. If anyone is losing, it’s traditional cable channels due to cord-cutting.”

Disney, AT&T and Comcast have plans to enter the streaming-video ring, armed with well-known TV and movie brands. But can they hold their own against industry juggernaut Netflix? Photo illustration: Heather Seidel/The Wall Street Journal

Write to Jessica Menton at Jessica.Menton@wsj.com

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